Xiaomi overtakes Huawei as smartphone sales tumble worldwide

Xiaomi Logo
Xiaomi Logo (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Xiaomi sold more phones than Huawei in February this year.
  • The former beat the latter by just 500,000 units.
  • Smartphone sales also took a massive hit in the month, falling nearly 40% year-on-year due to the coronavirus.

As the U.S. ban continues to squeeze Huawei in the smartphone market, we may finally be starting to see its adverse effects on Huawei's sales, despite the company's spectacular performance in 2019.

According to Strategy Analytics' latest numbers, the Chinese tech titan gave up its third-place spot in the world to rival Xiaomi in the month of February (via Sina Tech). The former had sales of 5.5 million units, while the latter barely edged out a victory with 6 million units.

Samsung dominated the pack, however, with almost three times as many sales during the month. Apple, meanwhile, occupied the number two spot with a comfortable 10.2 million in sales.

Strategy Analytics' estimates for smartphone sales in February 2020

Source: Strategy Analytics (Image credit: Source: Strategy Analytics)

But it's not just Huawei that's struggling right now. The whole smartphone industry is. More important than this shuffle in the rankings of smartphone vendors is the 38% year-on-year drop in smartphone sales for the month, owing to the ongoing pandemic. The firm's Executive Director noted:

February 2020 saw the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market. Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world. It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget.

Monthly sales for February fell from 99.2 million in 2019 to 61.8 million in 2020, according to Strategy Analytics' estimates. And it's not likely to be much better in March, with the novel coronavirus spreading across the U.S. and Europe and causing lockdowns across the world.

And while the global smartphone market may recover with time as the pandemic recedes, Huawei's fate may not be as hopeful. The company is expecting 20% fewer sales in 2020 compared to last year, and that's not even accounting for the chaos caused by the coronavirus.

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Muhammad Jarir Kanji